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Who is VK Pandian, the former bureaucrat joining Naveen Patnaik's BJD?

A 2000-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer originally from Tamil Nadu, Pandian commenced his bureaucratic journey in 2002, initially serving in the Punjab cadre before being transferred to Odisha.

Who is VK Pandian, the former bureaucrat joining Naveen Patnaik's BJD? AJR
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First Published Nov 27, 2023, 12:20 PM IST

After months of speculation, VK Pandian, the former IAS officer on Monday (November 27) officially joined Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal (BJD). This move follows his voluntary retirement from government service, marking a potential shift towards an active role in the upcoming Odisha Assembly elections scheduled for June 2024.

A 2000-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer originally from Tamil Nadu, Pandian commenced his bureaucratic journey in 2002, initially serving in the Punjab cadre before being transferred to Odisha.

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During his tenure, Pandian's commitment to farmers' rights was evident, notably streamlining paddy procurement as the sub-collector of Dharmagarh in South West Odisha. His efforts were recognized with the National Award for the rehabilitation of Public Works Departments (PWDs).

Pandian's impactful roles as District Magistrate/Collector in Mayurbhanj and Ganjam districts significantly curtailed the spread of Naxalism, introducing innovative administrative approaches. In 2011, assuming the role of private secretary to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Pandian solidified his position as a pivotal figure in Odisha's political landscape.

His commendable work, including receiving the 'Hellen Keller Award' for advocating for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), underscores his commitment beyond bureaucratic roles. Reports indicate his involvement as an instructor at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie.

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Pandian's transition into active politics within the BJD prompts discussions about his potential role in shaping Odisha's political trajectory, generating curiosity about the impact he might wield in the state's political future.

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